First stop: Wheatsville Co-op
So I may have gone a bit overboard with the co-op shopping this week, as I actually stopped there twice over the weekend. But I wanted to see if I could find all the items that I’d normally pick up from the supermarket.
- Celery, 1.27 pounds: $1.26
- Smoked Provolone, 0.71 pounds: $4.25
- Marinara sauce x2: $5.00
- Corn tortillas: $1.49
- Toilet paper: $0.69
- Corn flakes, 0.44 pounds: $2.33
- Brown rice, 0.67 pounds: $1.33
- Popcorn, 1.23 pounds: $2.45
- Soy sauce, $1.99
- Flour, 5 pounds: $3.99
- Pretzel shells: $3.49
- Toilet paper: $1.49
- Jasmine rice, 1.23 pounds: $3.68
- Barley, 0.54 pounds: $0.97
- Rolled oats, 0.38 pounds: $0.45
- Milk, 1 gallon: $5.99
- Eggs, 12 count: $3.00
Feel free to chastise me about this Pretzel Shells product. I had planned to pick up a bag of pretzel sticks from the supermarket to satisfy my mid-day munchies and keep me away from worse things. But of the many varieties of pretzels at the Co-op almost all were gluten free–not my expected wheat-based pretzels. So I tried these and though they were kind of tasty, they left me with the buyer’s remorse. Yup, even during Buy Nothing New 2015, I can still walk away with that disappointment because of the lack of satisfaction from this snack food and a feeling of failure at buying so much excessive packaging. (When they say “shells”, they really do mean just the shell of the pretzel. It’s mostly air in that bag.) Next time I’ll opt for a special snack from the bulk bins.
See the eggs? Package-free eggs are one of the great things about the Co-op. They’re pretty cheap at just $0.25 each, so although they’re labeled as local and cage-free it’s still possible those chickens are all crammed into a depressing windowless building. I may have to switch to the farmers market for eggs at some point.
There’s a lot of other packaging in those pictures, though, so lots of room to improve. I haven’t taken a close look at the tortillas yet, but I’m crossing my fingers that it’s something unterrible. And if not, hey, I’ll learn.
Next Stop: Downtown Farmers Market
- Bell peppers x2: $0.50
- Onions, 1 bunch: $3.00
- Tomatoes, 1 basket: $5.00
- Mushrooms, half pound: $2.75
- Cabbage, 2.25 pounds: $4.50
- Cucumber, 1 pound: $3.00
- Goat milk, 1 quart: $6.00
- Chicken, 3.84 pounds: $17.30
The splurge this week was some goat milk from Swede Farms since I’ve never tried that before. It was a bit thicker than I’m used to but with a very rich creamy flavor that thankfully tasted nothing like goat. This milk probably would have made some great pudding, but my husband guzzled it all down long before there was a chance of that.
Several of those tomatoes were soon blended up in the Magic Bullet and added to some arroz con pollo. Package-free tomato sauce. Much more of a success story than the marinara sauce pictured above. By the way, if you’re discouraged by complicated tomato sauce recipes you’ve read online, I’ve found most of that to be unnecessary. Wash them up, halve or quarter them and blend until they’re the consistency you want. I just wish package-free was less expensive, may have to try growing my own tomatoes next year.
Final Stop: My backyard
There’s not much in the garden ready for harvest right now, but I savored what was there. One small spicy radish sliced very thinly so I could handle the heat. And a pea pod that I just couldn’t wait to sample. The peas obviously hadn’t filled out the pod though, but they were sweet, dense, and very pea-tasting. It always surprises me when sampling something straight from the garden just how different it tastes from supermarket food. And immensely more satisfying, even if it is just a wee little veggie.
I probably won’t make my regular shopping rounds next weekend due to holiday travelling and to make sure this deliciously curated food doesn’t go to waste.